Each year, interested young farmers participate in the Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet at the INFB state convention. The Discussion Meet is a contest designed to simulate a committee meeting, where discussion and active participation is encouraged, in hopes of preparing young farmers to play a more active role in the agriculture community.
“Discussion Meet is not a debate but a discussion that rewards how well you work with others,” explained Allie Rieth, INFB young farmer and youth coordinator. “Participants are encouraged to problem solve, share creative ideas, use logic over emotion and be respectful of others’ opinions.”
The Indiana Farm Bureau Young Farmer Discussion Meet will take place Dec. 8-9 at the state convention in French Lick.
The INFB Discussion Meet is a part of a national program from the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF supplies five questions that guide the conversations at the state level each year. The questions prompt creative conversation around common challenges in agriculture. For example, the first question this year is: “Farmers are a shrinking percentage of the population. How can Farm Bureau help first-generation farmers and ranchers get started in agriculture?” For the full list of this year’s questions, visit the Young Farmer Discussion Meet section of the INFB website.
Four state finalists will be honored during the awards program at the state convention, and one individual will be selected as the overall winner and invited to participate in the national Discussion Meet at the 2018 AFBF annual convention.
Indiana’s winner also will receive a $4,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance and an all-expenses paid trip to AFBF annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 5-9. The three runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash prize from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance.
Discussion Meet is open to any INFB member between the ages of 18 and 35. Members have until Nov. 6 to register. Registration can be done at the same time participants register for December’s state convention in French Lick. Hotel stay is complimentary for two nights for all Discussion Meet participants.
AFBF provides a series of webinars to help prepare young farmers for the competition. Anyone interested in participating who would like access to the webinar series should email Allie Rieth.